Find accurate definitions of over 5,000 Catholic terms and phrases (including abbreviations). Based on Fr. John Hardon's Modern Catholic Dictionary, © Eternal Life. Used with permission.
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According to the ancient Church, a rigorous fast of forty days. It was an ecclesiastical penalty imposed by a confessor. Later on it came to be applied to partial indulgences and meant that the amount of temporal punishment removed was equivalent to that remitted by the ancient canonical penalty. However, the term is no longer applied to indulgences.